Contributors for the 2014 issue
Congratulations to the artists below, whose work graces the pages of the Volume 2 of Midwest Prairie Review
We accepted hundreds of submissions and have been overwhelmed with the wonderful and enthusiastic response we received from our writing community since the premiere of our new journal last summer. For our sophomore issue, we went through a number of “sifting and winnowing” sessions and narrowed our search down to the following pieces of prose, poetry, art, and photos. The following selections rose to the top of our files during those sessions. The journal’s editorial board then agreed that this material best embodied the spirit and theme for our regional journal celebrating the voices of the Heartland. Please join me in congratulating and celebrating these fine artists. —Laurie Scheer, Managing Editor
R. Ali grew up in the Midwest, but has spent the past 10 years living between cities and traveling abroad. She currently writes and sleeps in Philadelphia, where she is a freelance copyeditor for Main Course PHL and contributor to No Clue. She has a fondness for wasabi.
Pam stays busy working full-time work as an arts administrator and land use planner, and caring for a family made up of 4 boys and a variety of pets ranging from lab mutt to shrimp. She carves out time for her real passion, visual arts, with painting being her favorite. Sources of imagery include real life experiences, familiar animals and places, stories, and art itself.
Robin Chapman is author of 9 books of poetry, most recently the portfolio Dappled Things (Paris: Revue K, 2013) with Peter Miller's photogravures and One Hundred White Pelicans (Tebot Bach, 2013), poems on climate change. She is recipient of Appalachia's 2010 Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cortland Review, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.
Barry left the wonderful world of commerce several years ago. He successfully wore a number of different hats during the decades he inhabited that realm: Certified Public Accountant, marketing consultant, company president, and salesman. He now spends his time writing, cycling, sailing, and visiting his 5 grand grandchildren.
Alice D'Alessio, Middleton, finds poetry in the environment, particularly the Pheasant Branch conservancy and the Driftless area of Wisconsin. Her published books include A Blessing of Trees, which won the Posner Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Days We Are Given, a first-place chapbook from Earth's Daughters, and Conversations with Thoreau, from Parallel Press.
Patricia a Wisconsin photographer drawn to old barns, abandoned factories, bridges, and industrial grit. Her work has been exhibited in juried shows and other venues around the state and she publishes a blog, Wabi Sabi Photography, at Wordpress.com which features her photography and commentary.
Cathy Douglas writes a bit of everything – poetry, short stories, articles, and novels. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with one of her 2 adult sons, and works in a metaphysical shop. Her poetry and stories have appeared in both online and paper journals and anthologies. Her website is cathydouglas.net»
Carol Dunbar is a vegetarian food writer and mother of 2 carnivores living off-grid in northern Wisconsin. Her work has appeared in The Thunderbird Review, and the anthologies Writer’s Read volume III and The Heart of All That Is: Reflection on Home. She is seeking publication for her first novel, Heartwood.
Stephanie Essex Elkins
Stephanie Essex Elkins is based on a retired dairy farm southwest of Madison. She photographs while hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in local woods and prairies. She names trees and loves discovering prairie flowers through a macro lens. She’s also the host and producer of Morning Classics and Simply Folk on Wisconsin Public Radio.
Deirdre is a Chicago native who came to Iowa to attend Grinnell College in 1971 and never left. She currently lives in Des Moines with her husband, Tom, and multiple dogs. By profession a veterinarian specializing in holistic modalities, writing is for her both avocation and relaxation.
As a performer, Cecilia writes for the spoken word. She is currently performing her one-woman show, Voices which asks the question: “What is your story?” Her inspiration is drawn from the pines of Taralir, her home in Spring Green. She owns 43/90 North Earth, a new thought gift shop and reading room.
Andrée Graveley is a poet, a peace activist, and a student of Jungian dream work. She lives on an island in northern Wisconsin where she keeps a rustic cabin resort built by her grandparents. Her work is published or forthcoming in North Coast Review, Red Cedar Review, Verse Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Poets' Calendar.
Timothy grew up near the Rock River in Beloit, Wisconsin, which was fertile ground for dreaming. Although he loved the woods, fields, and parks, he pursued study in Chicago and found an editing job. No matter whether he's on a busy street or in a downtown office, memories of Wisconsin always feel like home.
Ron Hatfield has traveled from farm to college to teaching to doing research on dairy farming. Growing up on the farm gave him a deep appreciation for nature and life. He's always observing and is passionate about capturing the beauty of nature in words and/or photographs. Surrounded by nature is his favorite place to be.
Corey is Wisconsin-based photographer whose subject matter varies from scenic, wildlife, and still-life to daily life on a small farm. He enjoys capturing the beauty before him and relaying the feeling that inspired him to stop and photograph the scene.
Nancy Jesse grew up on a dairy farm in Barron County. She moved to Madison in1968 to attend the University of Wisconsin where she completed a degree in Education and later taught English at West High School. In retirement, she’s been working on writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Michael Knapstein is a fine-art photographer based in Middleton, Wisconsin. Best known for his nature, wildlife, and landscape photographs, he was recently named the International Landscape and Seascape Photographer of the Year in England’s Pollux Awards. His work has received more than 100 major awards, and has been widely published and exhibited around the globe.
The author of crime novel The Summer of Rain:Odyssey of a Young PI (Sammy is an excerpt) is a published short story writer and the author of 3 plays that have been performed in his hometown. He resides in Whitefish Bay with his wife and near their 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren. He is a graduate of the school of Journalism at UWM and holds a degree in American History from the University of Iowa. His novel is available through BookLocker.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
Elisa Korentayer is a writer and singer-songwriter performing as Elisa Korenne (elisakorenne.com). Elisa performs original shows about historical oddballs and records albums influenced by rock, folk, and blues. She is presently working on her first memoir, Hundred Miles to Nowhere, about moving from New York City to rural New York Mills, Minnesota.
As a licensed psychotherapist, Irene works with individuals and couples through some of the most challenging times in their lives. Taking photos is a personal pleasure and interest through which she chooses the focus, viewpoint, and the outcome; capturing beauty, fun, and gatherings.
Marnie O. Mamminga was born and raised in the Chicago area and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning undergraduate and master’s degrees in English. Her memoir, Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts, received high praise including Parade Magazine’s choice as one of the best reads for summer, 2012.
I see things fairly realistically, but my paintings stop short of showing precise detail. They are a blend of realism and impressionism using mostly traditional transparent watercolor techniques. I try to create paintings that give the viewer a moment of peace in this hectic world—perhaps trigger memories.
Paul makes his living as an architectural designer and illustrator, but his true passions are watercolor painting, art history, and Chicago. Most of his life has been spent in the Upper Midwest.
Jeri McCormick, a Madison poet and long-time writing teacher in senior centers and the Elderhostel program, has been published in Verse Wisconsin, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Hummingbird, and all of the Wisconsin Poets' Calendars. Salmon Poetry in Ireland has published 2 of her books, and her poems have appeared in many anthologies, such as Madison's Echolocations, and Notre Dame's The Book of Irish American Poetry.
Douglas W. Milliken
Douglas W. Milliken is the author of the novel To Sleep As Animals (PS Hudson, 2014) and the codex White Horses (Nada, 2010). Other work also appears in McSweeney's, Slice, and The Believer. Horse Story was written as part of a fellowship with the I-Park Foundation. (Photo credit: Ed Dittenhoefer)
Gail Moreland is an award-winning photographer, mystery writer, and former trial lawyer. Her passion is translating the natural beauty around us into photographs she can share. Midwest native, Gail lives in Woodstock, Illinois, with her cat Bailiff. Contact Gail at gailmorelandphotography.com»
Helen Padway experienced theater, television, and radio writing and performing before and after marriage and 5 children. Her children’s families have all ceded a library shelf for the journals in which her poetry appears. She is grateful to the mentors who helped further her skills; she is a happy poet and keeps writing.
John Palen’s Open Communion: New and Selected Poems was published by Mayapple Press in 2005. Since then he has had chapbooks published by March Street Press and Pudding House, and work appearing or forthcoming in Prick of the Spindle, Citron Review, Upstreet, Poydras Review and other publications. He lives in Central Illinois. (Photo credit: Robert Barclay)
A native Wisconsinite, Judy earned a BS degree (with an emphasis in graphics) from UW-Madison and enjoyed a 30-year graphic arts career with the Wisconsin Historical Society. She turned to watercolors in 2005 and found the work exhilarating and most satisfying. As an Arts Organizer in her community, she originated the Mt. Horeb Art Fair—now in its 43rd year—and co-founded the existing Mt. Horeb Area Arts Council.
Ray's writing career had its genesis in a creative writing class at UW-Madison. Although his heart was primed for writing, raising a family took precedence for 40 years. Fifteen years ago, he decided to accept the writing challenge. Two college writing courses and several workshops later he began writing himself toward retirement, which hasn't happened yet. His works include Cabbage Requiem, Between the Rows, and A New Season (the novels that make up his George Konert trilogy), Shards, an eclectic collection of his best short stories, and recent releases Heaven Lies Between the Foul Lines (2012), and Annabelle and the Sandhog (2013).
Mark Purcell is a 2-time Chicago Emmy nominated animator/producer for clay animation and jingle writing. He has also won dozens of local and regional advertising awards and is currently employed as an advertising copywriter. He continues to pursue his interests in photography, writing, playing music, and creating documentary films.
Gwendolyn Rice is a professional writer and playwright. She holds an MA in Theater Literature, History, and Criticism from UW-Madison, and a BA in English and Theater from the University of Iowa. Gwen has had full-length plays, readings, and monologues produced across the country, and has won several awards for short fiction. She lives in Middleton with her husband and 2 sons, who make her laugh every day. (Photo credit: Nick Berard)
Darby Ringer’s poems have appeared in Pontoon #1, Floating Bridge Review #5, switched-ongutenberg.org, and Poetry and Art on the Buses, 2001, among others. She has received bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington in French and Landscape Architecture. She is a landscape designer and lives in Seattle, Washington and visits Minnesota often.
Jo Scheder is an artist and writer. Her photography is published in TDR: The Drama Review, Honolulu Magazine, and Performing Asian America. She was the still photographer for the independent feature film Red Betsy (Wisconsin Film Festival). Her ethnographic documentaries were screened at the Hawai'i International Film Festival and on nationwide cablecast.
Publications in which David Scheler’s poems are published include Aurorean, Avocet, Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, Mid-America Poetry Review, and Reed. He has reacquainted himself with the French language and has translated over 100 of his poems into French.
Steve Smith attended the School of Visual Arts NYC. A fine artist and poet, Steve painted in theater and feature films for the past 30 years. His poetry and art has appeared in The Paterson Literary Review, The New Jersey Journal of Poets, Nerve Cowboy, Blue Collar, and The Iconoclast. Steve resides in Pennington, N.J.
Jeanie Tomasko is the author of Sharp as Want (Little Eagle Press), a poetry / artworks collaboration with Sharon Auberle; Tricks of Light (Parallel Press), and the e-chapbook, If I Confess Before 5:00 (Right Hand Pointing). She has 3 forthcoming chapbooks. When not writing, she works as a Home Health RN in the Madison area.
Insects seem to creep their way into Steve Tomasko’s poems (even his love poems). He doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. Steve and his wife, Jeanie, are editors of the 2015 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar. Steve is also assistant editor of Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem.
Suz Anne Wipperling
My poetry has been in several Dust and Fire journals, a publication from Bemidji State University, where one of my poems, Undressing Autumn, won the Diane Glancy Poetry Award. I write articles for a local magazine in Brainerd, MN called Her Voice, and belong to several writing groups.
Dr. Thelma Wurzelbacher teaches in the Communication Department of Columbus State Community College in downtown Columbus, Ohio. She uses photography, poetry, and essays as tools to enhance personal reflection and to encourage mindfulness in students and colleagues.
Marilyn Zelke-Windau is a Wisconsin poet who enjoys painting with words. Her work has appeared in printed and online venues including Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, qarrtsiluni, Your Daily Poem, and several anthologies. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, her first chapbook, Adventures in Paradise, will be published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press.
The sophomore issue of Midwest Prairie Review premiered at the 25th Anniversary Writers’ Institute in April 2014, and remains available for purchase. The cost per issue is $5.00.